Denise Landis--who has tested a variety of cookbooks and more than a decade's worth of recipes at The New York Times--knows what makes a good dinner party and how to compose a menu that will impress guests while leaving the cook free to enjoy their own party.
Featuring forty complete menus--appetizer, first course, main course, accompaniment and dessert--Dinner for Eight is organized by season, and guides any cook through a dinner party timeline of advance preparation and last-minute finishes. Each dish comes with a wine or beverage pairing. A sample of the menus:
For Fall: Hummus with Toasted Pita Triangles/Eggplant with Chopped Tomato Vinaigrette and Spiced Chevre/Bourbon-Marinated Roast Pork/Savory Mashed Potatoes/Florida Apple Pie
For Winter: Parmesan Cheese Crisps/Salmon Tartare/Roasted Rabbit with Polenta/Wild Mushroom Saute/Pears in Red Wine
For Spring: Walnut Spread/Moules Marniere/Lamb Chops with Mint Butter/Salt-Crusted New Potatoes/Cheesecake with Blueberry Compote
For Summer: Deviled Eggs with Avocado/Gazpacho/Seafood and Chicken Sausage Paella/Rouille/Peppermint Ice Cream